Time to replace our failed safety strategy

Since 2010, the NZTA have had 10-year road safety strategy called Safer Journeys. The Safer Journeys website describes it as: Safer Journeys is the government’s strategy to guide improvements in road safety over the period 2010 to 2020. The strategy’s vision is a safe road system increasingly free of death and serious injury and introduces the Safe System approach to New Zealand. The Safe System recognises that people make mistakes and are vulnerable in a crash. It reduces the price paid for a mistake so crashes don’t result in loss of life or limb. Mistakes are inevitable – deaths and serious injuries from road crashes are not. Within the strategy there …
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Quay St: Oh Yeah

Off-road cycle routes are great, but I love on-street ones even more, as they are real city changers. Both of course are required and required to be interconnected, but for today, here’s a celebration of the Quay St on-street cycle lanes, an important step towards a network: Looking forward to this route being connected to the Nelson St on-street cyclelanes, the SkyPath, and Tamaki Drive. Thanks to everyone who made this possible; from the Minister with his championing of the Urban Cycleways Fund, the Auckland Transport team and executive that put it together and got through a few tricky conflicts, and Auckland Council for their share of the funding (the transport …
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The Ideology of Traffic

Sometimes we come across something that is so perfect and so timely that it just needs repeating as it is. This is one of those times. The following post by Charles Marohn is lifted in its entirety from StrongTowns.org The Ideology of Traffic by Charles Marohn The greatest accomplishment of any ideology is to not be considered an ideology; to be a belief system that is not considered a belief system. Millions of Americans went to church yesterday and every one of them knew their experience constituted a belief, that others in the world believe other things. It is when beliefs are not recognized as such that things get scary. …
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Could Morningside Drive Level Crossing be Closed?

After another unfortunate incident at Morningside Level Crossing, once again questions have been asked of our level crossings. Morningside Level Crossing alongside Walters Rd in Takanini have achieved a sense of infamy over the years, some incidents have been covered below in the media, and as anyone who with any HSEQ background will know for each Incident there will be countless more Near Misses. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/AK1610/S00124/level-crossing-crash-morningside-drive.htm http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/65580642/auckland-rail-crossing-death-raises-questions-over-safety http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11394457 http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/8347480/Train-hits-woman-in-wheelchair This post will look into the feasibility of closing Morningside Level Crossing to traffic, however still creating grade separated access for pedestrians/cyclists to the station on each side of Morningside Drive, understanding in tight budgetary circumstances that fully grade separating the crossing for all modes …
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Sunday reading 5 June 2016

Welcome back to Sunday reading this long weekend. We start this week with a borrowed slide explaining the way that the quality of your city’s Transit system controls the quality of your driving commute: This explains what’s wrong with current expansion of SH16 and the completion of the Western Ring Route. The Transit part of this project is woefully inadequate: Intermittent bus lanes on the shoulder of the motorway are unlikely to lead to sufficiently fast or reliable bus travel times, this means the choice of taking the bus will probably not be attractive enough to tempt enough people away from driving on the newly widened motorway. This will lead to more induced driving and …
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“The accident is not the major problem”

A few weeks ago, I wrote about some misguided commentary on road safety that implied that “distracted walking” was a serious problem. It isn’t by any reasonable measure, but many of our other transport practices are unsafe. On average, around 300 people die as a result of road crashes. Around 15 percent of the deaths are pedestrians and cyclists, who would have been perfectly fine if a motor vehicle hadn’t run into them. Another 1500 people suffer serious injuries in road crashes. And while road deaths are on a downward trend, the number of serious injuries has hardly changed over the last decade. Some of these people chose to take …
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Let’s ban everything dangerous, like walking

This week, the Herald on Sunday published an article calling out a dangerous new practice: walking under the influence of a smartphone. According to them, careless walking causes literally dozens of injuries a year and should possibly be criminalised: Now legislation has been introduced in New Jersey that would slap a US$50 ($72) fine and possible jail time on pedestrians caught using phones while they cross. And in the German city of Augsburg, traffic lights have been embedded in the pavement – so people looking down at their phones will see them. The Herald on Sunday carried out an unscientific experiment at the busy intersection of Victoria and Queen Sts …
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Time for Vision Zero

Sadly there has been increasing carnage on our roads in recent times which has kept the road toll steadily rising. As of yesterday morning, for the year to date we’ve had 35 more deaths compared to the same time last year. With the road toll up currently by over 16% then if the current trend continues then 2015 will be the worst year for 5 years. The carnage yesterday with two serious incidents, one in which a schoolboy was killed after his motorcycle collided with a car and in the second a 14 year old girl was hit and is in a serious condition after a “distracted driver” appears to have mounted …
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Slip Lanes be gone

The council is hailing the fact that just over one quarter of the slip lanes in the city centre have been removed over the last few years. This is excellent news for pedestrians as it will make many intersections much safer. Pedestrian safety and access in the city centre has taken another step forward with the removal of three ‘free left turns’ at intersections as part of the upgrade of Beach Road. More than a quarter of the turns (11 out of 40) have now been removed from the city centre since 2012, when the City Centre Masterplan (CCMP) advocated their removal. A free left turn is one where traffic is regulated …
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Ponsonby Rd Public Realm

Ponsonby Rd has pretty serious pretensions to being Auckland’s premier shopping and cafe strip, and it sure does attract very high volumes of people. However the amenity for these people is very poor. Both in terms of its form but also in terms of its upkeep. Overall I think its fair to say that like many places in Auckland pedestrians are clearly low on the radar for those who have been charged with forming and maintaining this street. Certainly compared to the constant and loving attention AT gives the roadway the footpaths are in a shocking state [see below]. At many times of any day there are as many or more people on the …
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